National Public Radio (NPR)
The Happiness Project
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Feb. 13, 2009
The Time Is Now And The World Needs Your Participation
The 56th Inauguration of our 44th president, Barack Obama, is an experience that has strengthened my resolve to continue putting action beyond my opinions. January 20th, 2009 I stood with, and among, the nearly two million people who radiated the warmth of good will and optimism. It can only be described as amazing. Collective masses of people representing anyplace you can live on this planet showed up to witness and celebrate the unthinkable - the swearing-in as president , the first African-American man in the United States of America. Implausible, impossible and incredible is our new reality. Imagine if you can, almost two million people jammed into the Washington mall from approximately 3:00 a.m. in bitter cold until President Obama put his hand on Lincoln's bible at 12:30 p.m. NO individual was hurt or killed during the four days of Inaugural celebration and Martin Luther Day observances in the mall or immediate area of innumerable activities. That is remarkable if you consider the rude, incendiary and hostile behavior of some of the police who seemed determined to insight a disturbance. No one, not even the most volatile among us, took the bait. We intervened, protected, rescued, and reassured one another that our common purpose of unity was stronger than the old script of divide and conquer. The images of inspired and diverse people converging on Washington D.C. were repeatedly televised, e-mailed, and spread throughout the world. The reason for celebration was crystal clear. The people had taken the chance to believe that a politician who actually talked a good talk - would walk it. On a freezing January 20th hope strengthened into faith then into belief then into a bond of common purpose that surpassed the disbelief, nastiness and ill will of those that said it couldn't be done. 1.8 million people stood shoulder to shoulder to listen as once again Barack reminded us that the election and his swearing–in was only the beginning.
The next four years ahead demand our commitment and continual engagement to insure that the change we sought is instituted into reality and laws. Three weeks into his presidency the divisive, partisan mean-spirited ways of Washington seem determined to re-establish and keep things the way they have been for the pass eight years. Ineffective, incorrigible and indifferent to the people they were elected to serve. ENOUGH! I know that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Obviously our congress must think we are insane. Well I, for one, believe they need to be reminded throughout this administration's term and those to come, that we have had ENOUGH. My vote that is my voice will remind them that while in Washington they were elected to help make change that benefits all Americans. I intend to remind them to support and assist Barack in doing the peoples business, or in 2010 and 2012 they will be voted out. The same is true for the media and pundits that kindle feelings of mistrust, print misleading information and fan the fears of hateful, spiteful ill-informed citizens. Their jobs are to inform the public, not incite. We are their employers also, and if they don't tone down the hostile half-truths, they too will be out work. Today I am asking you to participate in pulling our country back from the verge of catastrophe economically and politically. Speak up, call up, e-mail, or write your local, state and national representative when you observe them serving anyone but their constituency. Call out editors and representatives of the media when they cross the lines of decency and truth. We as a nation can no longer afford anything less than a full-hearted commitment to all the people of this country. 2008 was the beginning of the change we so desperately sought. It is time today, this moment, and the days ahead to stay engaged, shoulder to shoulder, and help President Obama help US be the country we know we can be. The time is now. So get fired up and get ready to participate. Get off of your apathy and let's kick some attitude.
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